Nueva Versión Internacional

Deuteronomio 20

Instrucciones para la guerra

1»Cuando salgas a pelear contra tus enemigos y veas un ejército superior al tuyo, con muchos caballos y carros de guerra, no les temas, porque el Señor tu Dios, que te sacó de Egipto, estará contigo. Cuando estés a punto de entrar en batalla, el sacerdote pasará al frente y exhortará al ejército con estas palabras: “¡Escucha, Israel! Hoy vas a entrar en batalla contra tus enemigos. No te desanimes ni tengas miedo; no te acobardes ni te llenes de pavor ante ellos, porque el Señor tu Dios está contigo; él peleará en favor tuyo y te dará la victoria sobre tus enemigos”.

»Luego los oficiales le dirán al ejército: “Si alguno de ustedes ha construido una casa nueva y no la ha estrenado, que vuelva a su casa, no sea que muera en batalla y otro la estrene. Y si alguno ha plantado una viña y no ha disfrutado de las uvas, que vuelva a su finca, no sea que muera en batalla y sea otro el que disfrute de ellas. Y si alguno se ha comprometido con una mujer y no se ha casado, que regrese a su pueblo, no sea que muera en batalla y sea otro el que se case con ella”. Y añadirán los oficiales: “Si alguno de ustedes es miedoso o cobarde, que vuelva a su casa, no sea que desanime también a sus hermanos”. Cuando los oficiales hayan terminado de hablar, nombrarán capitanes que dirijan el ejército.

10 »Cuando te acerques a una ciudad para atacarla, hazle primero una oferta de paz. 11 Si acepta y abre las puertas, todos los habitantes de esa ciudad quedarán bajo tu dominio y serán tus esclavos. 12 Pero, si la ciudad rechaza la paz y entra en batalla contra ti, la sitiarás; 13 y cuando el Señor tu Dios la entregue en tus manos, matarás a filo de espada a todos sus hombres. 14 Como botín, podrás retener a las mujeres y a los niños, y el ganado y todo lo demás que haya en la ciudad. También podrás comer del botín de tus enemigos, que te entrega el Señor tu Dios. 15 Así tratarás a todas las ciudades lejanas que no pertenezcan a las naciones vecinas.

16 »Sin embargo, en las ciudades de los pueblos que el Señor tu Dios te da como herencia, no dejarás nada con vida. 17 Exterminarás del todo a hititas, amorreos, cananeos, ferezeos, heveos y jebuseos, tal como el Señor tu Dios te lo ha mandado. 18 De lo contrario, ellos te enseñarán a hacer todas las cosas abominables que hacen para adorar a sus dioses, y pecarás contra el Señor tu Dios.

19 »Si antes de conquistar una ciudad tienes que sitiarla por mucho tiempo, no derribes sus árboles a golpe de hacha, pues necesitarás alimentarte de sus frutos. No los derribes, pues no son hombres que puedan defenderse de ti sino solo árboles del campo. 20 Sin embargo, podrás derribar los árboles que no sean frutales y construir con ellos instrumentos de asedio contra la ciudad que tengas sitiada, hasta que caiga bajo tu dominio.

Amplified Bible

Deuteronomy 20

Laws of Warfare

1“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. When you approach the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people, and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: you are advancing today to battle against your enemies. Do not lack courage. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble [in terror] before them, for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ The officers shall also speak to the [a]soldiers, saying, ‘What man is there who has built a new house and has not yet [b]dedicated it? [c]Let him go and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would dedicate it. What man has planted a vineyard and has not put it to use [harvesting its fruit]? Let him go and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would begin to use its fruit. And who is the man who is engaged (legally promised) to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry her.’ Then the officers shall speak further to the soldiers and say, ‘Who is the man who is afraid and lacks courage? Let him go and return to his house, so that he does not cause his brothers’ courage to fail like his own.’ And it shall be when the officers have finished speaking to the soldiers, they shall appoint commanders of armies over them.

10 “When you advance to a city to fight against it, you shall [first] offer it terms of peace. 11 If that city accepts your terms of peace and opens its gates to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. 12 However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall lay siege to it. 13 When the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike down all the men in it with the edge of the sword. 14 Only the women and the children and the animals and everything that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the Lord your God has given you. 15 That is what you shall do to all the cities that are very far away from you, which are not among the cities of these nations nearby [which you are to dispossess]. 16 Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, 18 so that they will not teach you to act in accordance with all the detestable practices which they have done [in worship and service] for their gods, and in this way cause you to sin against the Lord your God.

19 “When you besiege a city for [d]a long time, making war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its [fruit-bearing] trees by swinging an axe against them; for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged (destroyed) by you? 20 Only the trees which you know are not [e]fruit trees shall you destroy and cut down, so that you may build [f]siegeworks against the city that is making war with you until it falls.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 20:5 Lit people and so throughout.
  2. Deuteronomy 20:5 I.e. to the temple. The rabbis said that ownership of a house was required for dedication. Here, dedication seems to have established ownership when the original owner died.
  3. Deuteronomy 20:5 The point of the admonitions in vv 5-8 is that with the Lord’s help, Israel would have no need of a large military force, and the officers could afford to dismiss anyone who was not completely prepared for battle.
  4. Deuteronomy 20:19 Lit many days.
  5. Deuteronomy 20:20 Lit trees for eating.
  6. Deuteronomy 20:20 I.e. battering rams, ladders, towers, etc.